You may be surprised to discover that flaxseed health benefits are well-known for a long, long time. We'll take a close look at them, along with how to buy and store flax seeds. Also, how to eat the flaxseed and how much you'll need to accelerate your weight loss.
Before anything else, let's give you a useful background and a couple of less-known facts about flaxseed. Or, skip this and go directly to the full list of flax seed benefits, including weight loss.
Interestingly, because the flax seed benefits are so widespread and not only health-related, the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), said to be native to Egypt, has been cultivated since around 8,000 B.C.
You've probably worn more flax than you've eaten...
Did you know that linen (which is made from flax) has been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs and is referred to in the Bible and in Homer's Odyssey?
In fact, linen used to be one of the major sources of cloth fiber until the cotton industry took over.
But flaxseed health benefits have been known since ancient times too and ground flaxseed has been used as a folk remedy since then. The Roman naturalist Plinius has written about flax’s laxative and therapeutic powers in the first century A.D.
And listen to this.
In the 8th century, the French king Charlemagne was well-aware of the flax seed benefits and even passed a law requiring his people to use flaxseed so that they would be healthier... Intriguing, right?
Thing is, ground flaxseed has been consumed widely throughout Europe and Asia, then introduced to North America during Colonial days... But here it wasn't used widely as food until the 1960s', when flaxseed health benefits had been scientifically proven - including the remarkable health benefits of flaxseed oil.
Today, considered a functional food because it provides you with vital nutrients, flax is cultivated in many places, but on a really large scale in United States, Canada and South America.
Here's what you really need to know about...
You can buy organic, brown or golden whole flax seeds from any health food store, they are relatively cheap and you can keep them in a cool, dry pantry for up to one year.
Avoid buying flax powder (ground flaxseed), as the seeds' oil content starts to oxidize immediately upon exposure to air; this not only gives them a rancid taste, it makes them unhealthy as well.
If you're wondering, brown and golden flax provide you with the same nutritional benefits and have a similar nutty taste, the brown one being a bit more flavorful.
There are a couple of important things you have to keep in mind when it comes to making the most of flax seed benefits.
First, since you can't digest whole flax seeds (they will pass right through your digestive tract), you have to grind them up - use a regular, cheap coffee grinder.
Second, try to eat them within 15-30 minutes of grinding because flax oil starts to oxidize as soon as it gets in contact with air and you'll miss on the health benefits of flaxseed. Also, discard whatever flax is left; don't save ground flaxseed in the fridge for the next day, for the same reason.
I guarantee you will LOVE the nutty-tasting ground flax seeds sprinkled on your salads or cooked vegetables!
They're simply delicious mixed in any fruit smoothies, protein shakes, yogurt, soups or oatmeal.
But make sure that you eat it with plenty of fluids (10 times the amount of ground flaxseed), otherwise it may cause constipation, and you don't want this. For example, if you use 1 full tablespoon (approx. 10 grams), be sure you also have at least 3-4 ounces of liquid.
Do you like hearty, healthy breads?
Then, choose the ones made with ground flaxseed - you'll find them at Whole Foods Market or your local grocery store.
Or make your own.
If you have a bread maker and want to make your own healthy flax bread, substitute up to 1/3 of the wheat flour with freshly ground flaxseed and sprinkle a few whole flax seeds on top - baking will not affect flax's bioavailability and health benefits.
You'll love the bread's texture and delicious, nutty flavor!
But more important, flaxseed bread is a low carb bread high in proteins, fiber, minerals and omega-3 fats - ideal to help you lose weight if living breadless isn't an option for you ;)
And there's more to it. Flax bread is also diabetic-friendly and helps with many digestive issues such as constipation, colitis, celiac disease, IBS, diverticulitis.
As you can see, there are countless ways to enjoy ground flaxseed and reap all the flax seed benefits :-)
Well, a normal daily serving is about 2 full tablespoons per 100 pounds
of body weight; that's about 20 grams and - amazingly - just 90
So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds eat 3 full tablespoons... If you weigh 180 pounds, use about 3.5 - 4 full tablespoons of ground flaxseed.
Let's see now the list of weight loss and health benefits of flax seeds >>